Rabbi Bemporad & Pope Benedict XVI
“In his very first speech as Pope, Benedict said that interreligious dialogue was a priority of his papacy. My hope is that that the work we’ve done at the CIU will be renewed and expanded on during Benedict’s papacy.” – Rabbi Jack Bemporad
In continuation of his close relationship with the Catholic Church and The Vatican, Rabbi Bemporad has already been invited to several audiences with Pope Benedict XVI.
In May 2005, Rabbi Bemporad traveled to Rome for the first International Judeo-Christian Symposium, organized by the lay Focolare Movement. The symposium, held on the theme ‘Love of God, Love of Neighbor in the Jewish and Christian Traditions’, drew more than 100 participants from all over the world. “Cardinal Kasper came to talk to the group after meeting with the new Pope and what he had to say reaffirmed that the Pope is solidly committed to continuing the work of John Paul II in his dialogue with the Jews,” says Rabbi Bemporad. Soon after, I – along with a group of Jewish representatives – had our first audience with Pope Benedict. He said to a number of us, ‘Pray for me.'”
In 2009, Rabbi Bemporad organized the rabbinical reception to Israel for Pope Benedict in a two-page open letter in Haaretz signed by over 200 prominent Rabbis and Jewish leaders, extending their welcome, support and acknowledging The Pope’s pursuit of peace.